Alaska's Commission on Judicial Conduct was created by amendment to the state constitution in 1968. The Commission is composed of three state court judges, three attorneys who have practiced law in the state for at least ten years, and three members of the public. This group of nine individuals from differing backgrounds and geographical areas addresses problems of judicial conduct and disability. Complaints alleging judicial misconduct can be filed by any person.

Recent Commission Actions

The Commission Members

Judge Members

Judge Keith B. Levy

Alaska District Court
PO Box 114100

Juneau, Alaska 99811-4100

(Term expires February 1, 2019)

Judge Erin B. Marston

Alaska Superior Court

825 W. 4th Avenue

Anchorage, Alaska 99501-2004

(Term expires February 1, 2019)

Judge Jane F. Kauvar

Alaska Superior Court

101 Lacey Street

Fairbanks, Alaska 99701-4761

(Term expires February 1, 2020)


Attorney Members

Marc W. June

807 G St., Suite 150

Anchorage, Alaska 99501-3447

(Term expires March 1, 2017)

Amy Gurton-Mead

155 S. Seward St.
Juneau, AK 99801-1332
(Term expires March 1, 2020)


Karla Taylor-Welch

100 Cushman Street, Suite 502
Fairbanks, Alaska 99701-4659
(Term expires March 1, 2020)


Public Members

Melanie Bahnke

510 L Street, Suite 585

Anchorage, Alaska 99501-1959

(Term expires March 1, 2019)

Robert Sheldon

510 L Street, Suite 585

Anchorage, Alaska 99501-1959

(Term expires March 1, 2020)

Chris Brown

510 L Street, Suite 585

Anchorage, Alaska 99501-1959

(Term expires March 1, 2017)

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The Commission's Role and Function

Judicial Officers Who Come Under the Commission's Authority

Alaska's Commission on Judicial Conduct oversees the conduct of justices of the Alaska Supreme Court, judges of the state court of appeals, state superior court judges, and state district court judges. The Commission cannot handle complaints against magistrates, masters, attorneys or federal judicial officers.

Complaints against state magistrates and masters are handled by the presiding superior court judge for their respective judicial district:

First Judicial District

Honorable Trevor N. Stephens

Alaska Superior Court

415 Main Street, Room 400

Ketchikan, Alaska 99901-6399

Second Judicial District

Honorable Paul A. Roetman

Alaska Superior Court

Box 317

Kotzebue, Alaska 99752-0317

Third Judicial District

Honorable William F. Morse

Alaska Superior Court

825 West 4th Avenue

Anchorage, Alaska 99501-2004

Fourth Judicial District

Honorable Michael A. MacDonald

Alaska Superior Court

101 Lacey Street

Fairbanks, Alaska 99701-4761



Complaints against attorneys can be directed to:

Maria Bahr, Bar Counsel

Alaska Bar Association

Box 100279

Anchorage, Alaska 99510

Complaints against federal judges in Alaska are handled by:

Assistant Circuit Executive

P.O. Box 193939

San Francisco, California 94119-3939

Telephone (415) 556-6100

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Types of Complaints the Commission Can Address

1. Misconduct

Perhaps the broadest category of conduct complaints against judges falls under the term "misconduct." Judicial misconduct has very specific meaning under the Code of Judicial Conduct. The Code of Judicial Conduct generally governs the activities of judges both on and off the bench. It is a comprehensive statement of appropriate judicial behavior and has been adopted by the Alaska Supreme Court as part of the Rules of Court. Judicial misconduct can be divided into several categories.

(a) Improper Courtroom Behavior

Often complaints against judges allege improper behavior in the courtroom during a trial. Allegations of improper courtroom behavior may include: improper consideration and treatment of attorneys, witnesses, and others in the hearing; improper physical conduct; or persistent failure to dispose of business promptly and responsibly.

Examples of improper courtroom behavior include: racist or sexist comments by a judge, sleeping or drunkenness on the bench. Judges can also be disciplined for administrative failures such as taking an excessive amount of time to make a decision.

(b) Improper or Illegal Influence

Judges must be independent from all outside influences that may affect their abilities to be fair and impartial. Consequently, judges are restricted as to the types of activities in which they can participate. At a minimum, judges cannot allow family, social or political relationships to influence any judicial decision. Judges also should not hear a matter in which the judge has a personal interest in the outcome. Extreme examples of improper influence would include the giving or receiving of gifts, bribes, loans or favors. To help assure judicial independence, judges are required to file financial disclosure statements with the court and other financial statements with the Alaska Public Offices Commission.

(c) Impropriety Off the Bench

Judges are required to live an exemplary life off the bench, as well. Consequently, the Commission has the authority and responsibility to look at judges' activities outside of the courtroom. Complaints dealing with off the bench conduct might allege: misappropriation or misuse of public employees, property or funds; improper speech or associations; interference with a pending or impending lawsuit; lewd or corrupt personal life; or use of the judicial position to extort or embezzle funds. Clearly, off the bench conduct includes a wide range of behavior from merely inappropriate actions to criminal violations.

(d) Other Improper Activities

Judges are also subject to restrictions in other aspects of their positions. These include prohibitions against: conducting proceedings or discussions involving one party to a legal dispute; interfering with the attorney-client relationship; bias; improper campaign activities; abusing the prestige of the judicial office; obstructing justice; and criminal behavior.

2. Physical or Mental Disability

Apart from allegations of misconduct in office, the Commission also has the authority and responsibility to address allegations of judges' physical and mental disabilities. Disabilities may include: alcohol or drug abuse; senility; serious physical illness; or mental illness.

The Commission can require medical examinations as part of its investigation and also can recommend counseling when appropriate.

3. Complaints the Commission Cannot Address

The most common complaints that the Commission has no authority to address are questions of law. Frequently, complaints allege dissatisfaction with decisions that judges make in their judicial capacity. For example, individuals often complain of wrong child custody awards or sentences that judges impose in criminal cases. The Commission cannot enter into cases or reverse judicial decisions. That role belongs to the appellate courts.

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Commission Complaint Form (fax or mail only)

Download Complaint Form Here pdf icon

***Note: This complaint form is not necessary, however any complaint needs to be in writing with a signature. Complaints can be mailed or faxed to: Alaska Commission on Judicial Conduct, 510 L Street, Suite 585, Anchorage, Alaska 99501; (907) 272-1033.


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